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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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of frontiers in Eastern Europe will be undertaken by His Majesty's Govern-
ment ? "
Eden replied : '* Yes, sir. The exchange of Notes which I have just read
to the House does not involve any guarantee of frontiers by His Majesty's
Manders (Lib.): " On the question of the guaranteeing of frontiers,
surely the existing guarantee to Poland holds good?
Eden : " There isa as I have said3 no guarantee of frontiers/'
The problem then arose, had Britain guaranteed the frontiers of Poland
or not ? Had she, or had she not, guaranteed some of them ? The
partners of the Anglo-Polish Treaty had committed themselves to the
defence of each other's independence (see Vol. I, p. 160). The independ-
ence of a state is indissolubly linked with its territory and frontiers, and
the assumption that in the event of necessity, the independence of the
partner will be defended, but neither his frontiers nor his territory, renders
any undertaken commitments inefficacious and levels them to mere
nothingness. In that case one party could claim that it had carried out
its commitments towards the other in the alliance, so long as that partner
upheld some sort of independence whether in the Western or Soviet
interpretation of this term, and although this same partner might have
been reduced for instance, to half or less even of its territory.
Sikorski had left the Foreign Office after signing the Agreement con-
vinced that the frontiers of his country and her territory were guaranteed.
The Anglo-Polish Treaty of 1939 and its unpublished Protocol (disclosed
in the House of Commons on December I5th, 1944 by Petherick, which
<e further reinforced the obligations of H.M.'s Government to the Polish
nation " did not touch on the problem of frontiers. The Protocol explicitly
expressed, and the point was understood by the signatories, that by
c European Power ' was meant Germany. It was not embodied in the
published text of the Treaty, but it was understood at the time
that the guarantee embraced Poland's Eastern frontier as well. But
Eden's subsequent discussion with the MJP's. revealed that the Foreign
Office thought otherwise. In fact, his explanation showed that Churchiirs
England felt more than a little uneasy over the strength of the pledges
given to Poland by Chamberlain's Government, and that this was an
opportunity to casually loosen the bonds of the Anglo-Polish Treaty.
While Moscow's envoy had not received any actual commitments from
the British Government, he was at any rate able to read between the lines,
that Britain did not seem to be unduly concerned one way or another
over this problem. The majority of the well disciplined British Press
upheld the official view in this matter.
The Times expressed the opinion that the Polish-Russian relations had
now changed into that of a close and active alliance and that" the deter-
mination of the new frontiers is wisely left over until the end of the war.'*
Daily Telegraph underlined the fact that the "Agreement makes no attempt
to define the frontiers of future Poland, which will emerge after the war."
The Spectator in the Sunday Times considered that, (< perhaps the most